These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations. bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence. appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia.
Dementia is likely to have a big physical impact on the person in the later stages of the condition. They may gradually lose their ability to walk, stand or get themselves up from the chair or bed. They may also be more likely to fall.
How does dementia affect people physically and mentally?
A major symptom of dementia is memory loss. If depression is also experienced, it makes it harder for a person with dementia to remember things and enjoy their life. Some people with dementia also experience hallucinations that can lead to paranoia, extreme anxiety and panic.
Two of the most alarming physical symptoms associated with dementia are muscle weakness and in severe cases, paralysis – both of which can become an unpleasant reality for people in the mid to late stages of the illness.
It is quite common for a person with dementia, especially in the later stages, to spend a lot of their time sleeping – both during the day and night. This can sometimes be distressing for the person's family and friends, as they may worry that something is wrong.
There are different personal risk factors that cause people to fall, however, people with dementia are at greater risk because they: are more likely to experience problems with mobility, balance and muscle weakness.
increasing confusion or poor judgment. greater memory loss, including a loss of events in the more distant past. needing assistance with tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, and grooming. significant personality and behavior changes, often caused by agitation and unfounded suspicion.
As Alzheimer's progresses, your loved one may start to behave differently. They may feel sad and cry more often. Crying about little things is common in certain types of dementia because those little things affect areas of the brain that control emotions.
One of the most common causes of death for people with dementia is pneumonia caused by an infection. A person in the later stages of dementia may have symptoms that suggest that they are close to death, but can sometimes live with these symptoms for many months.
People with dementia often experience changes in their emotional responses. They may have less control over their feelings and how to express them. For example, someone may overreact to things, have rapid mood changes or feel irritable. They may also appear unusually distant or uninterested in things.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses to its last stages, brain changes begin to affect physical functions, such as swallowing, balance, and bowel and bladder control. These effects can increase vulnerability to additional health problems such as: Inhaling food or liquid into the lungs (aspiration)
Dementia can affect areas of the brain that are responsible for movement and balance. Many individuals affected by Alzheimer's and other types of dementia gradually lose the ability to walk and perform everyday tasks.
Median time from recorded diagnosis until institutionalization and until death for people with dementia was 3.9 and 5.0 years, respectively, which was considerably shorter than for controls. Once institutionalized, median time to death was longer for persons with dementia (2.5 years) than for controls (1.2 years).
What is the life expectancy with someone with dementia?
The average life expectancy figures for the most common types of dementia are as follows: Alzheimer's disease – around eight to 10 years. Life expectancy is less if the person is diagnosed in their 80s or 90s. A few people with Alzheimer's live for longer, sometimes for 15 or even 20 years.
How quickly does someone with dementia deteriorate?
There is no way to be sure how quickly a person's dementia will progress. Some people with dementia will need support very soon after their diagnosis. In contrast, others will stay independent for several years.
Falls sometimes happen because of less than ideal home conditions, such as too much clutter to try to navigate around. Some people with dementia have a tendency to hoard things which can increase the risk of tripping.
In the late stage of Alzheimer's, the person typically becomes unable to walk. This inability to move around can cause skin breakdown (pressure sores) and joint “freezing.” Change the person's position at least every two hours to relieve pressure and improve blood circulation.
When you are with someone who has Alzheimer's disease, you may notice big changes in how they act in the late afternoon or early evening. Doctors call it sundowning, or sundown syndrome. Fading light seems to be the trigger. The symptoms can get worse as the night goes on and usually get better by morning.
In the earlier stages, memory loss and confusion may be mild. The person with dementia may be aware of — and frustrated by — the changes taking place, such as difficulty recalling recent events, making decisions or processing what was said by others.
Many people with Alzheimer's continue to live successfully on their own during the early stage of the disease. Making simple adjustments, taking safety precautions and having the support of others can make things easier.
No blood test currently exists for either condition. Alzheimer's diagnoses can only be confirmed by a PET scan of the brain, which can be costly, or an invasive lumbar puncture to test cerebrospinal fluid.